The rules for Sunday dinner are as follows:
1.) Rule number one about Sunday dinner is that you DO NOT talk about Sunday dinner. Ha!
2.) Any friend or family member who is visiting one of us on Sunday is automatically invited.
3.) Any friend or family member who is lucky enough to move to our neck of the woods (and I do mean woods) is adopted into Sunday dinner.
4.) The cooks get to split the left overs at the end of the night.
5.) Dessert is a hard rule! Do not show up without the dessert. If you do, ya better have some wine!
6.) Children must find a way to entertain themselves after dinner. If you need something, go ask your father!
7.) Laughter is required by all...funny stories are encouraged!
8.) Cleaning house for Sunday dinner is frowned upon. After all, it's Sunday, for Pete's sake!
Now, I do realize that millions of people all over the world probably have Sunday dinners with their families, but they are really special to me. Probably because my happiest childhood memories took place here, in Georgia, with family. When I was a little girl, we lived in Georgia for a few years, just a short drive away from my father's family, Uncle Frank, Auntie Mary, and cousins, Annie and Kip. I have so many happy memories tied to our meals, birthday parties, and social gatherings together.
I remember my Auntie's wonderful Italian cooking. I remember having my hair brushed and my nails painted by Annie. I remember the smell of my Uncle's cigar smoke after dinner and his famous dimpled smile. I remember the sounds of adult laughter echoing through the house as outrageous stories were told. I remember being tucked into bed for a sleepover with my cousin and looking at her collection of exotic dolls, brought home from her Daddy's travels. Most of all, I remember being happy and loved.
So you see, to have this family connection, and to be back on Georgia red clay, is a blessing. A gift. Sometimes I think about how I ended up here again, after life took me so far away, and wonder how anyone can deny the existence of God. My hope is that God will bring the rest of our family back into the fold. One day, I hope to be forced to buy a bigger dining room table, just to squeeze all of the family in. I might have said that would never happen if you asked me a year ago, but God has made a believer of me.
This weekend, my parents came for a visit and stayed for Sunday dinner. It was perfect. My Mom made chicken and dumplings, just like my great aunts used to make in North Carolina for family reunions, and it was heaven. I made the salad with my Aunt Mary's dressing. We had corn on the cob and sweet corn muffins on the side. For dessert, my cousin made these adorable lemon filled cupcakes with a perfect meringue topping (show off!) and chocolate cupcakes for the kids. But best of all was the familiar story telling and laughter of people who have a history together. Even though Uncle Frank is no longer with us, he is alive and well in the laughter of his brother and his daughter.
The hardest part about traditions, is getting them started. When you move around a lot the way I did as a kid, you learn the importance of creating new traditions wherever you make your home. You don't always get to be with your family; sometimes you have to choose your family. So if you are not already, go ahead and invest in someone else's life. Invite them over and order a pizza. Or pull a recipe off of Pinterest, if that's your thing. Just do it! You won't be sorry.
Here are a few snapshots of the latest and greatest Sunday dinner! Oh, and next time you are in town, feel free to drop in.
|Me and Hubby|
|The Boys enjoying an after-dinner lollipop.|
|Marci, our adopted family member.|
|Dad telling a funny story.|
|The Girls chatting it up.|
|My Mom, the cook.|
|A good time was had by all!|